Bank rescues ease crisis fears, investors still wary
March 17 (Reuters) - A $30 billion lifeline for First Republic Bank (FRC.N) hosed down market fears about an imminent banking collapse on Friday, but a late tumble in the troubled U.S. lender's shares showed investors were still worried about cracks in the sector.
Large U.S. banks injected the funds into San Francisco-based bank on Thursday, swooping in to rescue the lender caught up in a widening crisis triggered by the collapse of two other mid-size U.S. lenders over the past week.
Asian markets extended a risk rally on Wall Street to end a tumultuous week that saw a brewing banking crisis send bond yields plunging and market participants sharply lowering expectations of future interest rate hikes in Western economies.
STOCKS: MSCI'S broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) surged 1.6%. Japan's Nikkei (.N225) climbed 1.2%. China's bluechips (.CSI300) jumped 1.3% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index (.HSI) rose 1.8%.
BONDS: Two-year Treasury yields were last up 5 basis points at 4.1762%. Ten-year yields were mostly steady at 3.5600%.
KERRY CRAIG, SENIOR STRATEGIST, JPMORGAN ASSET MANAGEMENT
"It has been a week of ups and downs for the equity market this week. The more positive view this morning is coming from the support being offered to banks in Europe and the U.S., whether from regulators or other banks. This is providing confidence to the market around potential contagion. In aggregate the solvency of European and U.S. banks is good, but the liquidity has been tested, the risk of deposit outflows is mitigated by the measures taken so far and reduces the liquidity risks."
JOHN MILROY, INVESTMENT ADVISOR, ORD MINNETT
"We are still a little cautious here but there certainly has been more positive news on Credit Suisse. Markets still thinking that there is something else to crack with the Fed hell bent on raising rates and some more work to do."
MATHAN SOMASUNDARAM, FOUNDER, DEEP DATA ANALYTICS
"They will keep the money in First Republic to keep it alive for self interest ... to stop the run on banks. Then they will take it away gradually and the bank will play out a slow death."
ZHIKAI CHEN, HEAD OF ASIA EQUTIES, BNP PARIBAS ASSET MANAGEMENT
"The $30 billion deposit injection into First Republic overnight was novel and creative. And it is clear that the Fed sees this as a liquidity issue. Its new facility taking eligible securities at par removes the mark to market spiral risk to meet deposits.
"It is still early days but the U.S. regulators appear to be sensitive to what the markets are worried about and not shy about deploying the tools in its arsenal to address the liquidity issues."
DREW MEREDITH, ADVISOR, WATTLE PARTNERS
"I think there are concerns about the health of the financial system, as well as the banking system, given the massive withdrawal of liquidity in the form of rate hikes and the slowing of bond purchases.
"That said, we have seen this week how quickly they can be turned back on. Increasing rates at the fastest level in history at the same time that both consumers and businesses are facing inflation and dipping into their savings will mean pressure will continue. That said, markets are now suggesting rates hikes may be nearing an end, while inflation continues to rollover."
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